System Performance

The Toshiba KIRAbook may be using the current "entry level" low voltage Intel Core i7, but it's still an extremely fast processor. The Ivy Bridge-based i7-3537U features a nominal 2GHz clock speed and is able to turbo up to 2.9GHz on both cores or even 3.1GHz on a single core, power and thermals depending. The HD 4000 graphics are also able to jump to 1.2GHz, but that advantage is likely to be much more modest. Finally, the SSD in the KIRAbook is a very capable one and should help it out in PCMark.

PCMark 7 (2013)

PCMark 7's leanings towards SSDs are essentially correct; as a whole, the i7-3537U in the KIRAbook is faster than any of the other ultrabooks tested, and the SSD is definitely snappy. It's remarkable that the vastly more powerful CyberPower Fangbook (which includes a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro) doesn't bludgeon the KIRAbook harder.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x


CPU-centric benchmarks are also mostly in the KIRAbook's favor, but the first pass in x264 isn't as strong as it ought to be. The entry KIRAbook will be equipped with the same CPU as the Dell XPS 13 in these charts, so you're looking at a measurable decrease in CPU performance going that route. If the extra $400 for the upgrade to our review unit meant more than just Windows 8 Pro, a touchscreen, and the i7-3537U it might be easier to justify, but the i5-3337U is still a totally serviceable CPU.

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

3DMark performance of the KIRAbook is pretty much par for the course; any differences between the ultrabooks listed can probably be chalked up to thermal design differences between individual chassis rather than differences in the CPUs themselves.

In and Around the Toshiba KIRAbook Display, Battery, Noise, and Heat
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  • nportelli - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    The only reason I didn't pre-order one last night was because of the pending Haswell release and only 8GB. I'd rather have more. But if the first few new Haswell laptops come out with crap resolution... read not at least 1080p no matter the size of the screen. No 5Ghz? I can live with that since I don't have it now.
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    That and the 256GB SSD, with no option for anything larger. That's partially a limitation of it being an mSATA SSD (only 4 NAND chips), but that issue should be solved soon with Crucial's new higher capacity modules. Another reason to wait a bit longer.
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    I know it’s Japanese but really Kira on the name? Did they do any user testing to see if naming a $1500 laptop Kira was a good idea? Jennabook, Beckabook, Kirabook

    Hi, this is my cool new laptop with a 10 year old girls name.
  • solipsism - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    1) It's a town in Japan, among other things.

    2) "10 year old girls name"? Where are you from that girls are giving new names based on their age? Where I'm from a name is given around birth and is kept throughout one's life.
  • chrnochime - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Nothing else to whine about other than the name? If they name it Jenna you'd whine about it being named after a p0rn star.
  • cknobman - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Personally I was onboard @1599 until I read no touchscreen unless you pay $200 more.

    F_CK THAT Toshiba!
  • akp - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Don't be too quick to dismiss the lid flex as a problem. Google for 'Portege Z835 cracked screen' and then ask yourself if you'd really want to put down $1599 for one of these.
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    You mention this is Toshiba's way of "getting their foot in the door". But then you lament the colors of the notebook? Doesn't it make sense to use silver/grey for the "foot in the door"? Sure there are probably very few people who SEEK OUT grey, but there's an equally small number of people who would actively avoid it. Seems like a pretty safe bet, cover the widest base. Then once they've established market share they can be more aggressive with designs they know will only appeal to certain people; and then cover the difference with more designs. Obviously this increases operating costs and required resources; not to mention risk.

    So, to me, it makes perfect sense to design it this way. Really the only thing that makes no sense at all is the wifi card and I think they'd have a really solid offering if only they had used a dual band ac card.
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    The reason I bring it up is I feel that this counter point should be raised in the article after lamenting the color/design choices. You sacrifice sophistication anytime you want to hit the largest possible audience.
  • KPOM - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    I'm a bit surprised by the resolution. 2560x1440 translates to 1280x720 when scaled. That gives less usable real estate than the typical 1366x768 display. Sure, you can scale to less than 200%, but I think Toshiba would have been better off going with 2560x1600 like the 13" rMBP. Lots of programs (e.g. Quicken 2013) "expect" to have 768 pixels of usable vertical space, and when scaled, this screen won't give it to them.

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